Manga Monday: Hana-Kimi, Volume 7 by Hisaya Nakajo

Title: Hana-Kimi, Volume 7
Author: Hisaya Nakajo
Series: Hana-Kimi
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: 8/16/2005
Length: 200 pages
Format: Paperback
Genres: Manga, Shojo
Challenges: N/A
Source: Borrowed
Purchase: Paperback
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Julia is Mizuki’s girlfriend! As the shocking lie tears Osaka High School apart, Mizuki’s classmates make their moves on the blonde, blue-eyed transfer student. But how long can Mizuki’s gender stay secret inside the boy’s bath?

After Julia’s bombshell, everyone is bugging Mizuki about it. Mizuki is less than pleased about telling everyone that Julia is her girlfriend, but Julia thinks this will be a great way to learn if Sano likes Mizuki. Obviously, she doesn’t know Sano very well since there’s no way he would ever admit to an emotion like jealousy. By the end, she pretty much has him figured out though.

Osaka is going on a trip to Sano’s hometown. When Mizuki notices that he seems down about this, she snoops a little and figures out that things aren’t so good at home. Sano has some daddy issues. On the bright side, he’s finally trusting Mizuki enough to confide in her. There’s also a nice scene where they end of in the baths together. Sano escapes quickly before his boyish needs cause him to take advantage of her. That made me roll my eyes a little, as if boys just can’t help themselves. Like they have to jump any scantily clad female within reach or something. That’s so ridiculous.

The story is still progressing slowly for me. I’m pretty much ready for Sano to just tell Mizuki that he knows she’s a girl. Since I’m only on volume 7 of 23, I don’t think that’s going to happen soon. But I’m still interested, particularly in Julia. I’m hoping she’ll end up with one of the other guys. Maybe Minami, but hopefully Nakatsu. They hate each other right now, and what’s better than rivals falling for each other?

 

Previous volumes in this series:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6

Manga Monday is hosted by Alison Can Read

Manga Monday: Hana-Kimi, Volume 6 by Hisaya Nakajo

Title: Hana Kimi, Volume 6
Author: Hisaya Nakajo
Series: Hana-Kimi
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: 7/6/2005
Length: 192 pages
Format: Paperback
Genres: Manga, Shojo
Challenges: 2012 Support Your Local Library Challenge
Source: Library
Purchase: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★☆

When a sports reporter comes looking for a scoop on Izumi Sano, Japan’s most promising young high-jumper, Mizuki’s own secrets are brought into the light! Can she hide the fact that she, Sano’s roommate, is actually a cross-dressing girl? Meanwhile, Mizuki’s classmate Nakatsu, unaware of Mizuki’s female-ness, struggles to choose between his girlfriend and “the love that dare not speak its name”. But a wrench is about to be thrown into these relationships from two thousand miles away. Julia, Mizuki’s best friend from America, is coming from Japan to go to school!

Well, an annoying reporter has shown up to ruin things for Mizuki, but Sano’s always got her back. He’s making sure no one figures out her secret while I’m left wondering why on earth he hasn’t told her he knows yet. Seriously? Why not just say something? Oh wait, it’s probably because he’d have to acknowledge that he has feelings for her. In the meantime, Nakatsu’s really trying to deal with his own feelings. Suddenly, the fact that Mizuki is a boy (even though she’s not) no longer bothers him and he pretty much puts himself out there. Fortunately, he’s a pretty happy-go-lucky guy and it doesn’t seem to bother him that Mizuki hasn’t even acknowledged his declaration. Is any of this realistic? Absolutely not. Am I still loving it like crazy. You bet.

It all comes down to Mizuki and Sano. I need to see them end up together, so I think I’m in this one for the long haul. Unfortunately for you, that means I have like 18 volumes to go… or something like that. Oh yeah! And Mizuki’s friend Julia shows up, once again making the whole romance between Mizuki and Sano freeze. Things are always getting in the way of them telling each other how they feel. At least they’re not lying to themselves anymore. One thing I will say for Julia is that she gives good advice: ask him out! While Mizuki stresses about every little detail, Julia tells her it will work out if he likes her. There’s no need to worry about the logistics (those being that she’s pretending to be a boy and Sano is obviously not gay and also not supposed to know about her said female-ness).

There was another pointless chapter about Minami and his past romance with an older woman. My first though was “who cares?” but the chapter ended up being pretty entertaining, if a little racy. All in all, I enjoyed this volume and I’m ready for more. But seriously, I want more Mizuki/Sano moments. That’s the reason I decided to stick with this manga in the first place.

In other news, I watched the Japanese show based on this series and it’s kind of cute and majorly quirky (but what Japanese show isn’t?). I’ve decided to watch all of it. It’s definitely interesting to see all the characters played by real people. So different! I will say they did a great job casting a very attractive Japanese buy to play Sano and the girl that plays Mizuki is so freaking adorable it hurts.

 

Previous volumes in this series:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5

Manga Monday is hosted by Alison Can Read

Manga Monday: Hana-Kimi, Volume 5 by Hisaya Nakajo

Title: Hana-Kimi, Volume 5
Author: Hisaya Nakajo
Series: Hana-Kimi
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: 4/5/2005
Length: 188 pages
Format: Paperback
Genres: Manga, Shojo
Challenges: N/A
Source: Borrowed
Purchase: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s the final day of the Osaka High School Festival, and two big competitions are still up in the air: the relay race and the cross-dressing pageant! You’d think Mizuki, an actual XX-chromosome girl disguised as a boy at an all-guy high school, would be a better cross-dresser than her classmates, but things are never so easy–and what if winning the contest blows her cover? That might be a relief for her classmate Nakatsu, who doesn’t know that Mizuki’s a girl, just that he’s in love with her. But when a real girl falls in love with Nakatsu, his love life gets even more complicated…

I’m really enjoying where this is going now that both Mizuki and Izumi are admitting their feelings, even if it’s just to themselves. Hopefully, I won’t have to wait too long for them to finally approach the subject with each other.

The dorm competition is over and I can’t say I was too sad about that. It was getting a little too silly. I appreciate most of the humor in this series, but it always seems to be just a touch sillier than I want. I’m definitely not sick of Nakatsu’s dilemma. His adoration of Mizuki is just hilarious. Now that he’s getting to the point of maybe acting on it, his part of the story could go in a very funny direction. I was tempted to go ahead and pick up the next volume as soon as I finished this one. I didn’t though because I had a book I needed to finish. The point is, I’m definitely enjoying it.

There was a little extra chapter that was mostly about Mizuki’s past. It was one of those feel good stories about a friend she made before she moved to Japan, where she and a boy help each other grow up a little. It was cute, but kind of pointless. Definitely filler. Things got back on track in the last chapter, when a reporter shows up who writes a lot about Izumi. From what I could gather, she’ll play a part in the next volume. That’s definitely something I enjoy about this series. Each volume leads into the next so it keeps me interested in getting to the next one.

This one’s still going strong for me, but I’ve got a long way to go before the end.

 

Previous volumes in this series:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4

Manga Monday is hosted by Alison Can Read

Manga Monday: Hana-Kimi, Volume 4 by Hisaya Nakajo

Title: Hana-Kimi, Volume 4
Author: Hisaya Nakajo
Series: Hana-Kimi
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: 1/11/2005
Length: 200 pages
Format: Paperback
Genres: Manga, Shojo
Challenges: N/A
Source: Borrowed
Purchase: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★☆

All-male Osaka High School is holding its annual war of the dorms, and everyone must get involved! Unfortunately, even though she’d be happy to just compete in the 500-meter relay, Mizuki is forced to enter the Cross-Dressing Pageant…and pretend to be a boy pretending to be a girl! Worse still, a rival dorm targets Mizuki as a threat to their athletic supremacy! Can dorm chief Minami Nanba make winners out of his class while dealing with his own secret traumas?

This volume picked up pretty well with the dorm wars. There were funny moments and cute moments and sort of serious moments. The guys from the other dorms are pretty much terrorizing Nanba. They’ve also turned to dirty tricks to try and win. Mizuki becomes nervous when Nanba makes her sign up for the beauty pageant. I have to say, it was pretty amusing to see all the guys in her dorm dressed as girls. Mizuki was a very adorable Alice. And Izumi looks gorgeous, of course. What is it with manga and cross dressing? I don’t get it.

I like the way things are progressing with Mizuki and Izumi. It’s definitely slow, but Izumi has gotten to the point where he gets jealous. It makes me so happy. I don’t know why he feels the need to hold back. Mizuki even said in this volume that she’s gotten to the point where just being with Izumi isn’t enough for her. Maybe it won’t take as long as I think it will.

This volume ended right before the last day of the dorm wars, so I’ll have to wait until next week to see who won! All I know is there’s someone out to get Mizuki, and I want to know who it is. I’m hoping it’s not the obvious answer. This volume was entertaining. I read it in one sitting, which is kind of rare for me. I usually read a chapter at a time.

 

Previous volumes in this series:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3

Manga Monday is hosted by Alison Can Read

Manga Monday: Hana-Kimi, Volume 3 by Hisaya Nakajo

Title: Hana-Kimi, Volume 3
Author: Hisaya Nakajo
Series: Hana-Kimi
Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: 6/30/2004
Length: 200 pages
Format: Paperback
Genres: Manga, Shojo
Challenges: N/A
Source: Borrowed
Purchase: Paperback
Rating: ★★★★☆

Izumi, his friend Nakatsu and our crossdressing heroine Mizuki are hired to work at a beach chalet run by the family of weird school nurse Dr. Umeda! But when Kagurazaka – Izumi’s high-jump rival – shows up with his two younger sisters in tow, the job gets personal! Kagurazaka’s attractive sister Tamami has a crush on Izumi too, and she sees Izumi’s classmate Mizuki as a way to find out about the object of her affections. And then someone realizes that Mizuki’s actually a girl…

I can’t stop adoring this series. It’s a little weird, but it’s so funny and cute. Mizuki is so precious. I will say that I’m hoping the pretense between her and Izumi will end soon. It’s clear that they care about each other. Sadly, seeing that there are like twenty-three volumes, I doubt they’ll confess their feelings anytime soon. Nakatsu is such great comic relief. It’s so silly, but I like it. I’ve gotten to the point that I recognize manga humor and find it funny myself. His constant anxiety is hilarious to me.

Things got a little dark in this one. Mizuki gets herself into a scary situation. I have to say, I didn’t quite like the way the author dealt with that part. The guy (I forget his name) involved in the situation should have been punished a little more. I guess I’m glad he got fired though. Sorry if that’s vague, I just don’t want to throw out blatant spoilers. In the end, it was nice to see Izumi act as a knight-in-shining-armor. I just wish he would drop the act and tell Mizumi his feelings. I guess that’s pretty much the way it is in manga though. They always tend to drag the romance out.

All in all, this series still has me hooked, even it’s only to see how things play out between Mizuki and Izumi.

 

Previous volumes in this series:
Volume 1
Volume 2

Manga Monday is hosted by Alison Can Read.

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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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